Hacking job share: The story of job share CEOs Lucy Foster and Catherine Van der Veen

Hacking job share: The story of job share CEOs Lucy Foster and Catherine Van der Veen

Gemini3 and Juggle Strategies co-hosted a thought provoking hacking job share roundtable with leading organisations Origin, Optus, Microsoft, GHD, Boeing, JLL and Wellbeing Australia. The purpose of this roundtable was to discuss the reality of job share and why accelerating the adoption of this arrangement will be the key to solving flexibility.

Over the next few weeks, we will post short articles sharing key learning and insights discovered during this roundtable. This first article details the story of our guest speakers Job share CEOs Lucy Foster and Catherine Van der Veen.

Click on this link to download the full version of the Hacking jobshare playbook

Job share CEOs Lucy Foster and Catherine Van der Veen of Gen Life  

Lucy Foster and Catherine van der Veen had been job sharing a General Manager role at CBA for 2 years when the opportunity to become the first women job share CEOs of an ASX 200 business came along.

Together, they already had a track record of success and when Rob Coombe, the Executive Chairman of parent company, Generation Development Group, approached Catherine wondering “when the kids will be going to school”, or really when she will go full time, so she can be considered for a senior leadership role,

Catherine introduced him to Lucy. After putting both their CVs side by side, he realised the potential in experience he could get by taking both of them on board, and they were put forward to the board as candidates for the CEO role.

Lucy tells the story of a long track record of job share successes she has behind her. Most of her partnerships were found by her as the processes of pairing partners are still not simple in organisations. She was looking for another person with different skills, more network and as ambitious as her. When she met Catherine, it was the perfect match! She would not only complete her but that they will push each other to the next level…and they did! Only 3 months into the role of CEO at Generation Life, the pair has shifted the company to a performance driven culture, launched a new technology, revamped their brand and are over delivering on their sales forecast!

Catherine and Lucy wouldn’t change their arrangement for the world and say they may never go back to full time;  job share works for them and for the company. They both can enjoy being mothers of young children and have a meaningful challenging role. Generation Life is not only performing but achieving their diversity targets at the same time. As Chris Freeman said :  

“I get the best of each of you.  It really is the case of 1+1=5 and more.  Between the two of you I get 32 years of experience, double the connections, and a breadth of diverse skills. “ As Catherine said “It’s not only about flexibility, it’s about quantifiable and demonstrable business outcomes that show the ‘power of two’ ”

Click on this link to download the full version of the Hacking jobshare playbook

If you need any support in creating more job share in your organisation contact Juggle Strategies and Gemini3. Juggle Strategies offer training, consulting and design services to help organisations make flexibility just the way they do business, while Gemini3 offers a questionnaire and an enterprise platform to match ideal job share partners. We would be delighted to help you, whatever stage of your journey you may be on.